Who is Bernhard Russi? All About Him [2023 Update] - Player Bio (2023)

Bernhard Russi dedicated his entire life to alpine skiing, first as a world and Olympic champion in the 1970s and then as an Olympic designer of alpine ski slopes in 1988.

He claims to have started skiing at the age of two, which may not be an exaggeration considering his accomplishments while representing Switzerland at international level.

Bernhard Rusi,born 20 August 1948, is a retired Swiss alpine ski racer. He was born in Andermatt, in the canton of Uri.

Although he retired from his professional career, he is still quite active and is perhaps one of Switzerland's best known figures due to his many media appearances.

In addition, he is Olympic, world and World Cup champion in the downhill modality. The article here covers everything there is to know about Bernhard Russi.

So first of all let's take a look at some quick facts about him.

Bernhard Russi: Brief dates

Full nameRussian Bernardo
Date of birthAugust 20, 1948
BirthplaceAndermatt, Uri, Suiza
SurnameNot available
Age74 years old
ReligionNot available
EducationNot available
zodiac signlion
Father's nameNot available
mother's nameNot available
BrothersNot available
Height6 feet (183 cm)
Weight71 kg (157 pounds)
Hair colorRubio
eye colorDark brown
Civil statusMarried
WifeMari Bergström
Children2: son and daughter
Ex-wiferubi michele
Professionprofessional sky runner
world cup debutJanuary 8, 1968 (age 19)
RetireeMarch 1978 (29 years old)
SubjectsDownhill, Giant Slalom
ClubSC Gotthard Andermatt
olympic games medals2 (1 gold)
world championship medals3 (2 gold)
world cup wins10 – (9DH, 1GS)
PrizesSwiss Sportsman of the Year
the Étoile d'Or (the gold star)
Net worth$1 - $6 million
favorite playerNot available
social mediaNone
Site webbernhardrussi.ch
merchandisingalpine ski racing suit,alpine ski racing helmet
Last updateFebruary 2023

Professional career

Russi made his World Cup debut aged 19 in the giant slalom at Adelboden in January 1968. In December 1969 he returned to the World Cup circuit full-time after competing in two races in 1968 and six in 1969.

Furthermore, on February 1, he finished fourth in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Descent. Thus, he earned a place in the Swiss squad for the 1970 World Championship.

In addition, he won his first test, the descent, ahead of the Austrian Karl Cordin and the Australian Malcolm Milne.

Who is Bernhard Russi? All About Him [2023 Update] - Player Bio (2)

Bernhard was second in 1973 and third in 1976 and 1977, with his two relegation titles coming in 1971 and 1972. His best overall result was sixth, which he achieved three times in 1971, 1972 and 1977.

The Winter Olympics also functioned as the Alpine Skiing World Championships from 1948 to 1980.

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The world championships (1970) and the Olympic Games (1968) were included in the World Cup season rankings for the first few seasons. However, these major tournaments were phased out after the 1971 season.

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disappointing games

Bernhard's performance at the 1974 World Championships on local snow was disappointing.

He finished thirteenth on the downhill at St. Louis. Moritz. Russi came close to retaining his Olympic title at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, but finished second.

Russi's performance at the 1978 World Championships in Garmisch, where he finished fifteenth in the downhill at the end of January, was disappointing, as in 1974.

He withdrew from international racing a few days later with ten World Cup wins, 28 podiums and 52 top-ten finishes.


In the late 1960s, Russi's sporting career was hampered by his work as a specialist inOn Her Majesty's Secret Service, which was filmed in Switzerland. Unfortunately, during filming, he broke a cervical vertebrae.

After a period of rehabilitation he competed in the downhill race in Val d'Isère on 14 December 1969 for the first time in several months, placing 14th.

He earned World Cup points by finishing in the top ten for the first time. Furthermore, he was 15th on the starting list in fresh snow, a fitting figure for those conditions.

Despite breaking his hand in training a week earlier, he won despite discomfort during his winning streak.

Russi skied her winning run without ski wax because her trainer, Paul Berlinger, had scraped her off her skis shortly before the start.

post reform

Russi is currently the chairman of the FIS Alpine Committee and technical advisor for the downhill track project.

In addition, he was construction supervisor for the Rosa Khutor field in Krasnaja Poljana (2014 Winter Olympics).

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He also works as a ski racing commentator for Swiss television. Russi is also a brand ambassador for Subaru, a Japanese automaker, and other Swiss brands.

His first feature film wasThe fine line: life on the edge(2008). He appeared as himself in the film. Furthermore, he was 60 years old when he starred in this movie.

Furthermore, he is also known for his work onSapporo 1972: XI Winter Olympics(1972),Super stars(1973), eThe club(1985).

Russi is also president of Andermatt Realp Golf Club, one of the two most renowned courses in the region.


Bernhard was commissioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) to design Olympic slopes in the 1980s. Sometimes this meant flying over the chosen location in a helicopter with topographical surveys.

In addition, he skied the proposed track himself to find a route that would bring out the best of the best skiers in the world. Olympiabakken, the downhill track for the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, was created by Kvitfjell (NOR).

Who is Bernhard Russi? All About Him [2023 Update] - Player Bio (3)

It was used in every World Cup after that. The Rosa Khutor alpine resort course in the Russian Caucasus Mountains is one of his most recent works. There he was commissioned to develop a new course for use at Sochi 2014.

Other times he was asked to renovate existing tracks, such as the legendary Bellevarde Face in Val d'Isère. It served as a spectacular backdrop for downhill competition at the 1992 Albertville Winter Games.

Also, the Grizzly course at Snowbasin for Salt Lake City 2002 and Barchetta at Sestrière for the Turin 2006 Winter Games.

Bernhard Russi: the mountain man

Russi often says that creating great ski runs requires the ability to visualize what it takes to get the most out of the competition.

In addition, it is an understanding of the peculiarities of a mountain to maximize the use of its contours.

He explained,“I respect the sport. It's something I think about every day, whether I'm working or on vacation. Skiing is my whole life!”

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Bernhard Russi: Wife

Bernhard is married to his longtime girlfriend Mari Bergström. She is originally from Sweden. The couple shares a daughter.

However, his marriage to Mari is his second. He was previously married to Michèle Rubi. She is also an athlete and was a three-time Swiss ski champion in 1970.

Furthermore, Russi and Mari have a child together.

Chaos at the Awards Ceremony

According to Russi, in 1970 he surprisingly became the Downhill World Champion. All the media hype was pure chaos, his caretaker had lost sight of him, and traffic in the city had come to a standstill.

All I knew was that the awards ceremony would take place some time after the race in Ortisei/St. Ulric. He hitchhiked back to the hotel, the Spaniards took him away.

He later realized, to his horror, that his team's official gear was already on its way to the awards ceremony. Fortunately, the hotel host took him away with the help of a police escort along back roads to Ortisei/St. Ulric.

Who is Bernhard Russi? All About Him [2023 Update] - Player Bio (4)

However, the clothes he was supposed to wear to the ceremony have yet to be found. Finally, about two minutes before the ceremony, Kurt Schneider helped him out and lent Russi his official shirt.

According to Russi, she was at least two sizes too small. Even so, he enjoyed every second of the award ceremony, which even today causes a lot of emotions.

He explained: “As soon as the first few notes of the national anthem were played, tears rolled down my cheeks. It was so emotionally draining that I didn't even realize they were playing British national music instead of Swiss."


Bernhard Russi's World Championship triumph was also his first victory in a World Cup race because the World Championship counted towards the World Cup at the time.

On Mount Eniwa, he won a gold medal in the same sport two years later at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. Switzerland's Roland Collombin won silver and completed a Swiss double.

In 1971 and 1972 Russi won the downhill World Cup season title.

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I was nominatedswiss sportsmanof the Year for the second time this year, as well as the Skieur d'Or and the Étoile d'Or (the Gold Star) for the best ski rider of the year in the world.

Furthermore, no Olympic downhill champion has successfully defended his title (2018); Russi is the sole defender of the medal.


On the Sasslong track in Val Gardena on February 15, 1970, 22-year-old Swiss Bernhard Russi proclaimed his entrance onto the big stage in spectacular fashion. He outscored all the favorites to win the Downhill World Championship.

That set the tone for a decade at the top of relegation, when he routinely shared the podium with legends of the day such asFranz Klammerfrom Austria

In addition to 28 relegation podiums and ten World Cup victories, Russi won gold at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. In addition, he won silver four years later in Innsbruck behind Klammer.

Russi declared his retirement from professional skiing shortly after a podium finish at Cortina d'Ampezzo in December 1977.

However, that was just the beginning of a new chapter in what had been a lifelong love affair with alpine skiing.

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Bernhard Russo net worth

Bernhard has an estimated net worth of$1-$6 million. His main source of wealth is his professional career as a skier.

Furthermore, Russi has also appeared in different media which has earned him decent wealth. Furthermore, he is also involved in various sponsorships.

Presence on Social Networks

Unfortunately, Bernhard Russia is not on any social media platforms. He is more of a reserved and private person. He likes to keep his personal life low-key.

Read below;

Common questions

When did Bernhard Russo retire?

Bernhard Russi retired aged 29 in March 1978. He said his disappointing downhill showing caused his retirement.

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